NORTH EDISON, NJ–On Thursday night last week, GMC Hoops traveled over to North Edison for the second time this season to see the Trojans take on Metuchen in what was a key Blue Division matchup. I said it was key because with Middlesex beating Spotswood, Ahr had a chance to move into first place by itself. The Trojans had lost to the Chargers on January 25th. A win over BGA would really help Metuchen’s resume going into the GMCT seeding meeting. The Bulldogs had already beaten Carteret of the GMC White.
Unfortunately, Metuchen would come up short in this one. MHS would only shoot 6 of 33 in the second half while Bishop Ahr was 12 of 16 over the final two periods. The Trojans ended up shooting 25 of 48 for the game while the Bulldogs were just 17 of 59. BGA came up with a 21-9 third quarter showing that broke the game open after only leading 31-28 at the half. Senior guard, Darius Griffin made 7 of 11 shots from the floor including 2 of 5 from three point range. He also made 8 of 12 foul shots for a game high 24 points along with 5 rebounds, and 3 assists in the 66-52 victory.
Griffin has really improved his jump shot, which has been the weakest part of his game in past years. He has a nice high arc on his jumper, and as a result, has more range. Manny Kroggmann chipped in with 15 points on 6 of 10 shooting in addition to 3 of 4 from the foul iine. Fellow senior, Justin Peoples did a lot of the little things to help his team. While he only had five points, he grabbed seven rebounds, handed out five assists, swiped three steals, blocked a shot, and drew a charge. These three Trojans were part of a freshman team that reached the Final Four of the Perth Amboy/GMC Freshman Tournament in 2007, and ended up finishing fourth after losing the consolation to Spotswood. Also on that frosh team were football standouts, Brandon Vitabile and Nick Napurano.
The Trojans are playing much better since our last visit to the BGA for a game against South River on January 7th. There are still some kinks to rough out, but with wins over East Brunswick and Cardinal McCarrick plus at least a share of the Blue Division title on their resume, the Trojans should earn a three seed at the GMCT Seeding meeting. In the loss, Metuchen was led by senior Nick Callas, who has improved his game a great deal over the past couple of seasons. He was always a hard nosed player, but now he has offensive firepower. In addition to that, he attacks the glass well. Callas had 19 points and 11 rebounds in the defeat to Ahr.
Elijah Sellers chipped in for the Bulldogs with 10 points, 9 rebounds, 4 steals, and 3 assists. Metuchen lost out on an opportunity to enhance its GMCT resume. However, with two wins over Middlesex, a fourth place position in the GMC Blue, and that crossover victory over Carteret, the Bulldogs should be seeded somewhere in the top dozen, especially considering the strength of the GMC Blue this season.
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